Commentary and Pictures from January 22nd, 2000
(All pictures are clickable for a larger view)
On Saturday January 22, 2000 Ross Overstreet and I had another one of our informal get togethers at my house. A lot of things went great and we tore up some equipment in the process (We both chalked it up to experience and a heck of a good time).
We started out the day with pulse discharge "Quarter Shrinker" experiments utilizing a lot of our Tesla coil equipment. We were all surprised by the amount of energy released on the first shot. This surprise gave us a very healthy respect for the safety aspects needed (There are NO second chances with this stuff). The energy released quickly turned plywood, 1" acrylic, and aluminum plate into a tangled splintered mess destroying the Trigatron mounting base. The only thing that held up was the 1/4" boiler-plate containment which was strapped down over the work coil. Ross will be posting pictures and more information on his web page. Here is a picture of Ross' quarter.
It was getting dark so we went on to run our coils. During the first run of the evening with both coils firing Ross called out. When I looked there was corona all over his power controller and a 2" arc jumping between a connector and a metal switch. We shut down and assessed the damage indicator light and fried dead-man switch. These were easily removed from the circuit (snip, snip). We then went looking for the culprit. Turns out we had connected the ground between the two coils but had neglected to hook them to the ground rod. Ross' power controller was the path the RF decided to use. After connecting the ground things went well although his power controller never was quite the same. Every once in a while the magic smoke would try and escape but when we opened the box there was no indication of a problem.
Ross is now using a single 15/60NST which has been de-potted and hot-rodded (shunts removed).
For more pictures and information go to http://users.better.org/roverstreet/components/psu.html His coil ran great and he was able to consistently produce 4 and 5-foot white hot arcs. Ross' coil dropped a couple hundred pounds since he removed the stack of NST's and went to EMMC's instead of the rolled-poly caps.
My coil recently underwent a complete primary circuit rebuild. I pulled the rolled-poly caps and installed the new EMMC's. I also got the bugs worked out of the SRSG and cleaned up the primary wiring. With all these changes my coil now performs GREAT!!! Consistent 6-foot white hot arcs with occasional 7'-foot ones to the concrete driveway. The sound of a sync coil is awesome but hard to explain.
We then went on to test a concept for a prop I'm building. It's called "The Bird-Cage" and will be 5' tall and hold a person inside. We had prepared a wire mesh mock-up which we placed between our two coils. We did a short run and decided the cage should be hooked to the RF ground (there is no bottom on the mock-up and corona was visible all around the circumference). After another test with the cage grounded Ross got inside. We started with low power tests and worked up to simultaneous 4'-5' power arcs from both coils. The cage worked so good that by the end of the evening a majority of the onlookers had gone for a ride. Many rolls of film were taken and both still and video was shot from inside the cage. The view is absolutely unbelievable. We never get to see arcs from this angle and there were a lot of strange things going on. The arc channel looked like a thorny rose stem with little spikes shooting out all along it's length. Video cameras inside the cage worked without a flaw and hopefully some of the still pictures will come out.
Ross Overstreet is in the left photo, Bruce Basura (my brother) is in the middle, and Howard Boardman (a colleague from England) is on the right.
That is my father (Mike Basura) in the left photo, My wife Debbie in the middle, and her friend Debbie Finger in the right photo.
This is what it looked like from inside the "Bird-Cage". Five and six foot power-arcs hitting inches from your face. Yet inside the cage video and still cameras functioned without a glitch.
The last thing we decided to do was shrink one last quarter for the crowd that gathered. The shot went off without a problem. Then as we were about to safe the capacitor there was a big and continuos arc from inside Ross' power controller (sounded like elf's were arc welding inside). This went on till the mains breaker tripped. We decided we had enough fun for one night and packed it in.
It was a great night although we will have to see how much damage was done to Ross' controller (he's been talking about rebuilding and now he has the opportunity to do so).
Questions and comments Copyright © 1997,2006 Brian D. Basura This site was last updated 04/02/06